How to Study the Bible Well
Studying God’s Word during the wonderful busy-ness of the Christmas holidays holds such great value. Seth leads us in understanding the how to’s of studying God’s Word in season and out of season.
Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Deuteronomy 11: 18-19
As I got out of our car Sunday after our church service, I left my Bible in the car. No big deal, why? Because I have a “church” Bible I only use for church. I have three Bibles I rotate depending on the time or situation. It is amazing (and very humbling) to think of this unique privilege Christians have not always had.
With this great privilege comes the ability to be better students of the Word. Yet when it comes to our pursuit of scriptural knowledge we fall short often due to the lack of study. There are a myriad of reasons we can come up with…I don’t know where to begin. I don’t know how to study. It seems really confusing. The language seems foreign to me. I just don’t get anything out of it… Some of the reasons are understandable, but if scripture is so valuable maybe there is value in looking (or relooking) at our approach to how we study the scripture.
- Pray about it. One of the biggest mistakes is making the study of the Bible about us or our ability to understand what is being said. Scripture is the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17). Pray to the Spirit of God and ask Him to speak truth into your life. It is the Spirit at work in our life allowing us to understand and grow from time spent in the scriptures. Even if we have been studying God’s Word for decades we can forget to petition Him for clarity concerning His Word.
- Read it. Seems simple right? Read scripture and reread that same scripture. Read short sections. Read long sections. Read the Old Testament and the New Testament. Read scripture and allow it to soak into your mind and soul. And refer to point number one.
- Think about it. Psalm 1 says blessed is the one who meditates day and night on the Lord’s law. Too often when/if we read scripture we are like the one James warns about who reads the Word and walks away unchanged (James 1:23-25). Sometimes this means writing about it. Still other times it means speaking with a friend or mentor about a passage. For some topics it requires additional reading or listening to a message about the subject. But the study of scripture is not done when we stop reading it. Nor can the meditation of scripture replace the reading of it.
Ultimately, our ability to understand and live out scripture is graciously given to us by God. We get the opportunity to be faithful with what He gives. Let’s enjoy this gift this Christmas season!
“Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds…” (Deut 11:18) How can you fix the Bible (God’s Words) in your heart and mind during your break from school and your normal schedule?